1,300 Businesses Across Florida Declare They Are “Open to All” – Open to All
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1,300 Businesses Across Florida Declare They Are “Open to All”

Businesses Large and Small Across the Sunshine State Join National Campaign and Publicly Commit to Serving Everyone on Equal Terms

March 21, 2019— Today businesses across Florida, members of Open Doors, announced that they are joining the national Open to All coalition. Open to All unites and galvanizes national leaders in business, civic engagement, and the nonprofit sector to take a stand for the shared American values of fairness and equality—and supports the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All. This partnership brings national visibility to Florida’s businesses and strengthens efforts in the state to support diversity and inclusion.

A project of Equality Florida—Florida’s statewide LGBTQ organization—Open Doors Florida (also known as Puertas Abiertas) is a bilingual, mobile-friendly Florida business directory for businesses, faith organizations, and other venues with strong, LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination policies. “The directory makes it easier for residents and visitors alike to seek out places they can be assured will welcome and respect them and their families,” said Nadine Smith, Equality Florida’s Executive Director.

By joining Open to All and signing the Open to All business pledge, members of Open Doors are agreeing to maintain a welcoming and safe environment for all people—including employees, visitors, customers, vendors, and clients—and to serve everyone on the same terms regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, immigration status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, religion or disability.

“Now more than ever, consumers are paying attention to corporate social responsibility and want to know that the businesses they support respect equality, fairness and equal opportunity for their employees and customers,” said Smith. “The partnership with Open to All will strengthen Florida’s reputation in recruiting and retaining a diverse, talented workforce and will reassure tourists that they can expect to be treated with respect.”

In addition to being included on the Open Doors mobile directory, businesses who take the Open to All business pledge are featured publicly on the Open to All website. Open to All has also teamed up with Yelp and is encouraging businesses that have a Yelp page to activate the new “Open to All” attribute to show customers that their business is Open to All.

“By joining Open to All, these businesses are taking a stand, not just against discrimination against LGBT people, but by publicly committing to serve everyone on equal terms, regardless of who they are,” said Calla Rongerude, Campaign Manager of Open to All. “As members of Open Doors, these businesses embody the core principles of fairness and inclusivity, which is why we’re thrilled to welcome them to the growing Open to All national coalition.”

Included among the 1,300 businesses joining Open to All today are Gap Inc. stores across the state. Last October, Gap Inc. announced it was signing the Open to All business pledge and urging other business leaders across the nation to add their voices and declare they are Open to All. Gap Inc. stores include Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix, with over 140 stores in Florida, Gap’s third largest market.

An October 2018 Harris Poll®, conducted in conjunction with Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, finds that 75% of Americans believe that when a business opens their door to the public, they should be open to all and serve everyone on the same terms. The poll also found that a vast majority of Americans agree that businesses should not be allowed to deny services to people based on their race, ethnicity, or national origin (87%), sex (87%), sexual orientation (81%), gender identity (80%), religion (85%), or disability (88%).

“The power of books to unite and inspire us cannot be underestimated,” said Joan Hepsworth owner of Paperback Exchange Bookstore in Port Richey, Florida. “We can travel around the globe, we can learn about different cultures, and we can discover our shared experiences and humanity—all through the magic of books. We welcome everyone into our bookstore to celebrate that joy, that’s why we’re proud to be part of Open Doors and the national Open to All campaign.”

Businesses wishing to join Open to All can sign the pledge at http://www.opentoall.com/business-pledge/.

To search for Florida businesses using the mobile-friendly directory, visit OpenDoorsFlorida.org.

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Open Doors, a project of Equality Florida Institute, is a bilingual, mobile-friendly statewide business directory that spotlights businesses, faith organizations, and other venues with LGBTQ inclusive nondiscrimination policies.

Open to All is one of the most significant public education efforts to date that unites and galvanizes national leaders in business, civic engagement, and the nonprofit sector to take a stand for shared American values of fairness and equality. In addition to the nearly 4,000 business members, Open to All includes more than 200 nonprofit members spanning civil rights and racial justice organizations; LGBT equality organizations; health and disability organizations; faith organizations; and more. Open to All members are committed to building awareness and understanding about the importance of nondiscrimination—and to defend the bedrock principle that when businesses open their doors to the public, they should be Open to All.

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